FALLUJAH, currently melting my face.
Really digging this album "The Flesh Prevails" from FALLUJAH. Don't be an idiot like me and ignore these guys for having a dumb name. They're not what I expected at all (i.e. they're not Iraqi / not neocons) - just some straight-up progressive death metal. This is one of the best / heaviest albums I've heard since ULCERATE - "Vermis" last year. 5 out of 5 wolves.
Progressive death is not really something I'm super familiar with or psyched about - I guess it seems easy to do badly - but holy fuck, you can count me on board. I mean, I grew up listening to tons of prog-metal, but most of it just doesn't have balls, namsayin'? It's wussy singers, and bands generally tone back their heaviness while they're busting out some insane guitar solos.
But that brings us to FALLUJAH. They're not afraid to just add layers upon layers to their sound, creating something super-dense. Take the shift in tone at 2:20: most bands would be happy to add a crunchy riff to blisteringly-fast drums (a "breakdown", if you will), but even while that's going on, you've got a melodic guitar line and vocals at the same time.
Not to toot Satan's horn, but: metal fans are able to process way more of what's going on in a given track. We need MORE STIMULUS, more layers, more of everything. Think about it: your average non-heavy music fan will hear a track like this and process it as "noise". Yet, as a discerning metal listener, you can focus on each of the parts at your whim. You can hear the beauty surrounded by noise. SIDE NOTE: I can actually understand the lyrics of this band sometimes?!
I also dig the little flourishes of black metal, esp. on the track "Starlit Path" - reminds me a lot of ENSLAVED. Oh man, love that wailing on "Levitation" too.